2015 Medal Winners | francais

The 2015 CAP Herzberg Medal

is awarded to

François Légaré

"It is a great honour to receive the 2015 CAP Herzberg medal. This recognizes the quality of the research performed with an outstanding team and the technical members of the Advanced Laser Light Source." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2015 CAP Herzberg Medal is awarded to François Légaré, INRS-EMT, in recognition of for ultrafast molecular imaging, development of high peak power infrared lasers for high harmonic generation and tissue imaging with nonlinear optical microscopy techniques. announcement

François Légaré is a chemical physicist, full professor at INRS-ÉMT and director of the Advanced Laser Light Source (ALLS) infrastructure. He is internationally recognized for outstanding contributions to the fields of ultrafast science and biophotonics, including pioneering studies on ultrafast molecular imaging, the development of state-of-the-art high peak power lasers, and tissue imaging with second harmonic generation microscopy.

Prof. Légaré’s work in molecular science has led to the development of the molecular clock for probing attosecond processes without attosecond pulses and for measuring the time scales associated with strong-field molecular ionization. Furthermore, he was the first to combine experimental observations with numerical simulations to highlight the underlying mechanism of charge-resonance-enhanced ionization in a triatomic molecule, and has recently shown that a table-top laser system allows the imaging of proton migration in the cation of small organic molecules. Over recent years, much of his effort has been devoted to the development of high power infrared lasers, making ALLS the world's only open-user facility offering few-cycle infrared pulses. Using this unique infrastructure, his research team with collaborators has shown how high photon energy can be generated in a tabletop setting, enabling one to probe for the first time multi-electron dynamics with high harmonic generation spectroscopy. In addition, he has been highly creative with the development of a new concept for the amplification of octave-spanning laser pulses: frequency domain optical parametric amplification. This approach is extremely promising for the development of high average/peak power few-cycle laser pulses: it has been patented by INRS and a Canadian spin-off has been started to commercialize the technology.

Prof. Légaré is also actively working on biomedical imaging using nonlinear optical imaging techniques and was among the first to realize how the complex piezoelectric architecture of collagen-rich tissues influences the images obtained in second harmonic generation microscopy. nominator citation

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